Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has urged his countrymen to relax after Pakistan were thrashed by India in the ongoing Asia Cup.
The India-Pakistan rivalry needs no introduction. While a good performance in this fixture can turn an individual into an overnight star, a poor one can make even a famous player public enemy number one. Given the historical relations between the two countries, this fixture is more than just a contest between bat and ball.
Neither of the two teams could afford to lose this fixture. Players in both teams routinely face intense pressure to win and sometimes face extreme reactions in defeat. Indo-Pakistan cricket matches are some of the most watched television broadcasts in both countries. The 2011 Cricket World Cup semi-final attracted an average audience of nearly 135 million in India alone. So one can easily assume the pressure on the players when they come out to play this fixture.
Not surprisingly, the Pakistani fans were disappointed when their team suffered a heavy loss against the arch rivals on Wednesday (September 19).
India thoroughly dominated the contest to win the game by 8 wickets.
Batting first, Pakistan could manage only 162 with Babar Azam’s 47 being the top score. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kedar Jadhav picked up three wickets apiece.
In reply, India chased down the total by losing just two wickets in 29 overs. Rohit Sharma (52) and Shikhar Dhawan (46) led the charge before Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik wrapped up the game.
The fans and several former Pakistan players expressed their disappointment over the team’s performance. However, Shoaib Akhtar has leapt into the defence of the team, urging his compatriots to calm down and not write off the side.
He took to Twitter to share his message, writing:
“Guys lets all chill, Its just a game does not mean Pakistan can not play better i am sure they will make a come back with a better game!”
Guys lets all chill, Its just a game does not mean Pakistan can not play better i am sure they will make a come back with a better game!
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) September 20, 2018